July 14, 2015 / 12:14 PM / 2 years ago

Louis Oosthuizen buoyed by 2010 memories for St Andrews return

Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa watches his tee shot on the second hole during a practice round ahead of the British Open golf championship on the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland, July 13, 2015. REUTERS/Paul Childs

ST ANDREWS, Scotland (Reuters) - When Louis Oosthuizen walks on to the first tee at St Andrews on Thursday, memories of his 2010 British Open victory at the Home of Golf will come flooding back as he bids for a repeat performance.The South African led over the final 48 holes at the Old Course five years ago, blowing away the rest of the field to win the Open by seven shots.”It’s great to be back here,“ Oosthuizen told reporters on Tuesday. ”The biggest memory was I think on Monday walking down 18, seeing the grandstands and remembering that moment walking in 2010 on the Sunday afternoon.

”It will give me the confidence knowing what I’ve done here and that I can play this golf course. But you still need to go out and make a good score, play good golf around this track.

“If you’re not going to be driving the ball well you’re going to find a few pot bunkers and you’re going to make mistakes. You’re going to make bogeys,” said Oosthuizen.

The 32-year-old is in good form having tied for second place at the U.S. Open last month.

George Coetzee (C), Branden Grace (L), and Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa on the first hole during a practice round ahead of the British Open golf championship on the Old Course in St. Andrews, Scotland, July 13, 2015. REUTERS/Paul Childs

For a stunning seven-hole stretch Oosthuizen felt the buzz of major championship battle for the first time in years as he finished four-under-par, one stroke behind winner Jordan Spieth.

After a messy run of three consecutive bogeys early in the final round at Chambers Bay, he piled up six birdies over the closing holes including five in a row from the 12th.

“I needed to prove to myself to get in that situation of trying to win a major again and the back nine to me was so much fun,” said Oosthuizen who will partner former world number one Tiger Woods and Australian Jason Day in Thursday’s opening round.

”I was making putts from everywhere. I just needed to prove to myself that when I get in that situation again, I can handle it and I can still hit good shots.

“I wasn’t nervous coming down the end there. I was excited on every shot. I like to be in that situation. I think everyone does.”

Reporting by Michael Hann, editing by Tony Jimenez

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